South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has accepted President-elect Donald Trump’s offer to become his U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Haley’s planned nomination to the cabinet-level position, which will be announced Wednesday morning, was first reported by the Post and Courier.
Haley, a rising Republican star and daughter of Indian immigrants, was elected as South Carolina’s first female and minority governor in 2010. She is Trump’s first female appointment to a cabinet-level post.
As Governor, Haley has demonstrated strong communication and problem-solving skills. She won praise for her calm handling of the racially-charged Charleston church shooting and historic flood that took place just less than four months apart last year. After the shooting, Haley persuaded lawmakers to remove the Confederate battle flag that had flown on the Statehouse grounds for more than 50 years.
The ambassadorship requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, Haley would be replaced by South Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Trump ally.
According to the Washington Post, Haley represents the addition of a rival to the Trump administration. She was critical of some of Trump’s proposals, such as his temporary ban on Muslims’ entry to the U.S., and backed Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican primary contest.
The post also points out that Haley could benefit from the higher-profile foreign relations post if she decides to seek higher office, including president. Haley was considered a likely vice presidential pick during the primaries. She could be appointed to the Senate if U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of North Charleston runs for governor in 2018 and wins.